October 23rd, 2017

George propels Tigers past Central Hardin

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

George propels Tigers past Central Hardin
St. X head coach Andy Schulten talked to his team after the game / photo by Conor Revell

St. Xavier soccer star Conner George has been given the green light to shoot whenever and wherever, and for good reasons too.

George scored two goals to lead the host Tigers to a 4-1 victory over visiting Central Hardin in the Semi-State Three game Monday night to advance to the Elite Eight.

“He’s a goal scorer, that’s who he is,” St. X head coach Andy Schulten said. “He’s the epitome of a striker. You always have to account for where he is, you have to pay attention to what he’s doing, and tonight with the wind at our back before the game, I told him that he can rip it, shoot, and launch it at any time.

“He shot one from 50 yards out and got grief from his teammates. He asked me if he shot if from too far and I told him no, keep shooting. I told his teammates, sorry, I gave him the green light. That’s exactly what I wanted him to do. Conner is a good ole ballplayer.”

The junior striker scored both of his goals in the second half to break a 1-1 halftime tie.

Bennett Moorman and Jack Schrepferman also scored for St. X (20-3-2) while Luke Luckett scored the lone Bruin (15-8-1) goal.

“Really it was our mindset,” Moorman said of their second half play. “I thought we came out flat in the first half. With the wind in the second half with us, it made it a lot easier to score.”

Samuel Reid and Case Cox had assists for the Tigers while Zachary Mueller had an assist for Central Hardin.

Moorman put the Tigers up 1-0 one minute into the game when headed in a kick from Reid past Bruin goalkeeper Garrett Schall.

“I know that Sam Reid is going to cut back in the middle with the ball,” Moorman said. “As soon I saw him cut to the middle, I knew I had to put myself in position to get a ball from him and be ready. The ball came in the air and I gave it my best effort.”

Luckett responded when he received a pass from Mueller, found open space, and blasted a shot past St. X goalkeeper Haydon Korfhage to tie the game at one with 10:59 to play in the opening half.

“They have a lot of speed in the middle,” St. X defensive back Michael Hagerty said. “We just had to keep our marks and contain their speed.”

It was tied at the half but the Tigers outscored the Bruins 3-0 in the final half.

“I think the biggest thing was the side of the field,” Schulten said. “With this rain tonight, that first half was brutal and with the rain pouring down, we had a hard time clearing the ball, moving the ball and connecting passes. I was thrilled we scored right off the bat in the game. That took a little bit of pressure off of us.

“As you saw, Central Hardin played really hard. We could have been down 3-1 at the break but fortunately we weren’t. Haydon kept us in the game. I think Central Hardin gave all they had in the second half but ran out of gas especially after Conner’s goal. That allowed us to breathe a sigh of relief.”

George then fired a shot with his left foot from 20 yards out to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead with 35:53 remaining.

“Well, Max Gordinier made a great ball to Case and he just found me,” Moorman said. “I headed it in and I was able to get us on the board.”

The prolific scorer netted his second goal of the game with a similar shot from 10 yards out to put St. X ahead 3-1 with 21:54 to go.

“I think that goal got us going,” George said. “After we got that goal, we started to dominate and clicked the rest of the game. That’s what we need to do; we need to score early and often.”

Schrepferman scored his goal to ice the game with 32.5 seconds left.

The Tigers fired 14 shots at Schall who made five saves and earned two corners.

Central Hardin took six shots while Korfhage made three saves and had one corner.

“We had to talk and keep our mark,” Hagerty said. “I think we came out a little flat but we really picked it up offensively and defensively in the second half.”

St. X will play Oldham County Saturday at a high school in Lexington. Time and place will be announced Wednesday.  

The Tigers beat the Colonels 5-0 in the regular season. Oldham County beat Butler 4-3 at Mercy Monday night.

“We will go back and look at film, when they played us earlier in the season, their best player got injured,” Schulten said. “You can’t draw a lot of comparison. Coach (Alan) Morel has a lot of experience and will have his boys ready to go Saturday. I need to give my guys a break; we played three really tough games in five days.

“I have some banged up boys. I got to get some legs back underneath them. I’m not going to worry about playing to beat them as much as we play our best game. If we play our best game, I like our chances to win.” 


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